Early mornings will never be my favorite. But still for many years I’ve travelled to Harburg for 1 week in January to get up early, and this year was no different.
All week we ventured out from Harburg to join in the Kangeiko, which translates to “cold training”, in Seishinkan Hamburg located at the Wandsbeker Chaussee.
Previous years we had different instructors every morning but this year we had the pleasure of a Serbian instructor: Milan Velickovic, who guided us through one hour of training every morning from 07:00-08:00.
Milan is one of the highest graduated Tendoryu people in Europe, and I really enjoyed his teachings during the week.
The monday to friday Kangeiko is followed by the Kagamibiraki on Saturday which is a celebration that stands for the opening of the New Year in the dojo. In Seishinkan we celebrate it with a buffet and the tradition of drinking sake. Kagamibiraki is translated to “Breaking the mirror” and it refers to the spoon you use for pouring, breaking the surface of the sake.
This year was the first in many that I had the opportunity to attend both Kangeiko and Kagamibiraki. Working at weekends I rarely have the chance to attend the buffet and celebrations. Last year when I also didn’t have to work my father turned 70 and had his party on the Kagamibiraki date. But this year I had the good fortune to be able to attend.
It was a really great beginning for the new Aikido year and a great way for me to start my 20th year of doing Tendoryu Aikido.
This week in January is not only early morning trainings. There are also the “normal” evening classes.
On monday and friday I am happy to say that I get the chance to teach and train with the people of the Harburg Tendoryu Aikido group.
I said to the group after the friday training that I feel very fortunate to get to train with such a nice group of people. Not only high level aikido people, but also I am happy to say that I can call some of these people my friends.
It really is a very special atmosphere and a group of extraordinary people.
For me this week is a kind of holiday. A week where I have no other concerns than training Aikido and relaxing.
During the week, when everyone else is working I usually spend time going sightseeing in Hamburg and just taking in the atmosphere of a big European city. This year was a little different and I spent quite a bit of time just walking around Harburg and just enjoying the general area.
To sum up: It was a week of nice training with great and highly competent instructors. And I got to spend time with amazing people.
What more can you even ask for during a rainy week in January?
Steffen Ravn Mortensen / Frederica (DK)